Ferrari and McLaren optimistic for Canada, Horner unphased

Luca Manacorda, Jaden Diaz

The last three Grands Prix held were won by three different teams: McLaren in Miami, Red Bull in Imola and Ferrari in Monte Carlo. This was difficult to imagine when the year began, as Red Bull again asserted their authority. Overall, performance indicators suggest the Italian outfit is falling behind.

Red Bull were nowhere near podium contention in Monaco, with Perez in particular struggling with the RB20. The calendar now includes the Canadian GP. F1’s pecking order for next weekend is difficult to predict, especially with the newly surfaced track.

Horner unphased: “It was only the Monaco circuit that highlighted our weaknesses”

Despite the problems that have emerged over the last month, Red Bull remain on top. Team principal Christian Horner has analysed the situation in the Championship:

I think McLaren has made a big step forward, while Ferrari’s has been very subtle. We’ll see in the next races, we’re getting into the heart of the championship: Canada, Spain, Austria, Great Britain… It’s a marathon, not a sprint .”

Horner believes that the Monte Carlo circuit highlighted the RB20’s weaknesses. From his perspective, the next few circuits should be kinder:

We expected Monaco to be a difficult weekend for us. We don’t take anything for granted, but I think the next tracks will work in the car’s favour.

“So far, we have won five grand prix, two Sprints and achieved second place in Miami. It is only the Monaco circuit that has not allowed us to exploit our strengths. We need to understand our weaknesses and deal with them .”


Among the upcoming races, the next round of the Canadian GP could be the most complicated for Red Bull:

“It’s a track where we performed well previously, but they resurfaced the entire circuit again, so we’ll see. Ferrari and McLaren are fast, and there has always been a convergence in performance.

“Historically, in Montreal, there is a lot of traction, but with a new asphalt, you never know what the balance will be and who it will slide towards.”

Ferrari and McLaren optimistic: The field closer than ever

Certainly, Red Bull’s main rivals feel that the balance of power is shifting. The Ferrari team principal, Fred Vasseur, has underlined the progress at Maranello over the last 6-7 months. 

Vasseur has highlighted that Ferrari are more opportunistic, not letting chances of victory slip them by. For the next races, Vasseur still expects great balance:

“If we look at the last races, the three top teams are within a tenth of a second. In Miami, we ended up 2 seconds behind Max after 40 laps. In Imola, we were 6 seconds behind 36 laps. There will be circuits that favour one team over another, but the difference will be a tenth, a tenth and a half.”

The Canadian GP should give another indication of the pecking order, argues the Ferrari team principal:

In Montreal, there is almost the opposite of Monaco in terms of speed and downforce. But there are also curbs, many slow corners, chicanes and so on. Some corners are similar to those of Monte Carlo.

“Overall, if we look at the performances of Melbourne, Imola and Miami, with different types of compounds, layouts and asphalts, we can think that the race will be very close until the end.”

Vasseur (Ferrari)

Great optimism can be felt at McLaren. The British team’s performance has been extremely consistent since their Miami upgrades. After finishing 2nd and 4th in Monte Carlo, Andrea Stella was pleasantly surprised.

We have collected many points, but they are also proof that we can be regular contenders for the podium. We look to the next races with optimism.”

Piastri: “We can fight in every circuit”

The Italian’s words were confirmed by Oscar Piastri, who was very impressive in the Principality:

There have been three very different circuits in the last three races, and we have been competitive in all of them.

“Miami was probably one of the worst circuits for us before this year. Imola has always been kind to us, and we had a very strong weekend there. Regarding Monte Carlo, let’s say that our car has never been the strongest in the slow corners, and instead, we were very fast again.”

Andrea Stella, meanwhile, has also proudly underlined the progress at McLaren:

It seems that the picture of our competitiveness is finally starting to change. Low speed no longer appears as a clear weakness. A situation that we have been able to modify thanks to developments.”


Piastri now expects a competitive McLaren on every type of circuit, predicting a great battle between the top teams:

“We can be confident wherever we go. I feel that we don’t have to rely on high-speed circuits like we did last year to get our results, which is a very exciting thing. 

“I think the pecking order is tighter than ever, so I think we can definitely be fighting every date .”

Mercedes fourth-fastest: “We hope to continue the momentum”

Mercedes remains further behind the top three teams. Toto Wolff’s team has been forced to settle for fourth-fastest. In Monte Carlo, this happened against Red Bull, with Max Verstappen stuck sandwiched between the cars of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton.

Andrew Shovlin, director of trackside engineering, believes the red flag robbed Mercedes of a great opportunity.

“We hope to take advantage of the momentum we have had recently, bridging the gap compared to the leaders.

“We still have to get into those teams, and it was frustrating how for the second consecutive race George remained a thousandth of a second from another position in qualifying (Norris’ fourth, ed.) . of a second from placing third on the grid. We want to continue in this direction.”


Ahead of the Canadian GP, ​​Mercedes will continue to introduce some updates to the W15. However, compared to Monte Carlo, the Montreal track features slow curves alternating with long straights where top speed is important. Not ideal for a single-seater that has so far struggled to find the right balance between slow and fast corners:

We will have some minor updates and certainly the new front wing on both cars – added Shovlin – The track has been completely resurfaced.

“We’ll see the problems with graining we had in Monaco. The difference is that in Canada, you can’t drive slowly. otherwise, you will be overtaken.

“The cornering speeds are like in Monte Carlo, but in Montreal you have big and long straights with maximum downforce, you lower the drag a bit to deal with those straights better.

“We will have to have a decent pace in the corners. Hopefully, we can continue this momentum and improve on recent qualifying positions .”